Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Control of Power

It hasn't always been like this. That is, communities and parents used to have a say in their children's education. Before Bloomburg, the New York City public schools were controlled by the Board of Education. Under this system, 32 of the 39 members of the Board were elected by the local school boards of New York City. The rest were appointed by the mayor and the borough presidents.

Since 2002, the public schools have been under "mayoral control". Mayor Bloomburg dissolved the Board of Education and created a committee to replace it called the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP). Under this new system, seven of the PEP members (a majority) are chosen by the mayor. The other five are chosen by the borough presidents. None of the PEP members are elected by the people! These seven members of the board that Bloomburg appointed always vote for the Mayor's plans. Sometimes the people of New York disagree with the PEP, but they have no way to vote when the PEP makes a decision.

The new system of mayoral control has been highly controversial. Many schools have been closed by the PEP, and many more have lost classroom space to charter schools opening in their buildings. Many people are upset about the changes to the schools. However, no one has been able to stop Bloomburg and the PEP. SaveSatellite believes that this system of top-down, autocratic control has no place in a democracy. It has no place in New York City. It is time for the students, parents, and teachers of New York City to be heard. It is time for a change.

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